Monthly Archives: December 2015

Whee- 40 teeny Comfort Bears- I did it!!!

Originally, I designed these little bears for Syrian refugee children, but I wanted to address the critical comments that some people had made. They said that we should be taking care of people who are already here and are suffering.

Well, I agree: We do need to care for those in pain, but it is NOT an either/or situation: It is AND.

I had recently read an article that spoke of acts of compassion and ended by saying that the heart must stretch, or it will break.

I thought: Alright… let’s stretch the heartstrings.

I thought: Who is here that needs me?  Immediately, the answer came up: The Women’s Shelter.

So, two weeks ago, I asked the Women’s Shelter if I could donate some of the tiny Blessing/Comfort/Kindness bears to the children in their care.

Confession time: Truth be told, I was still in the design stage at this point… how bold of me to phone them up when I hadn’t even finished the workable prototype! LOL

They said, ‘YES! Please make us 40!’

When I recovered from my astonishment, I said: ‘Of course I will’.

And, so, for the last 2 weeks, I have gotten up early (very VERY early some mornings!) and gone to bed late….

and …. tadah!!!!

40 little Comfort/Blessing Bears in a Basket! (made with love by Noreen Crone-Findlay)

I knew that I could not possibly get them all knitted by hand in only 2 weeks, so I knitted the bodies of most of them by machine, but some of them, I knitted on 2 sets of circular needles (cumbersome) and some on 4 dpn’s… which is much more doable than the 2 circs.

(I have my dpn’s and yarn with a bear on it in my ‘going out the door’ knitting bag… more about that, later).

The hand work of sewing the back seam, stuffing the bear, sewing both ends shut then making the necks, legs, ears, stitching on the arms and embroidering the faces is what takes up most of the bear making time.

It’s slow, but contemplative work, and it brings me such great delight as each little face smiles up at me when I finish embroidering it!   Such joy!!!!

I have to race to finish family Christmas presents now, but I will be casting on lots more stitches for more, more, more bears- for Syrian refugee children, and more for the Women’s Shelter to have on hand, and more because I keep meeting people who need them….

This makes me sooooooooooooo happy!   ❤     😀     ❤

Yup, this has been a real heart stretcher… I have so much more room in my heart than I ever thought possible.

I think that the extra room is bear shaped….

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

My dream is that people will be inspired to knit or crochet all kinds of wonderful wee comfort/kindness/blessing bears to give to anyone who needs some compassion and healing.   Won’t you join me?    🙂

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Filed under charity knitting, crafting for charity, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Tiny Teddy Bears that hug the hand that holds them

The past few weeks have been a flurry of knitting tiny bears .

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I designed these Comfort Bears (also known as ‘Kindness Bears’ , ‘Compassion Bears’ and ‘Blessing Bears’) for people of any age who need to feel loved and comforted.

It was important to me that they fit in a pocket, so they are less than 3 inches tall.

It  also felt important that the wee bears be interactive, so I designed their arms to be knitted in one piece, so they could hug the finger of the person who owns them.

They bring me so much joy to make!  I hope that those who will be adopting them will feel all the love in each tiny teddy!

I’ve found such joy in making them, so they really do hug back to their maker, as well as whoever will be their owner.  😀

Here’s the link to the pattern so you can knit them, too:

https://tottietalkscrafts.com/2015/12/11/knitted-comfort-bear-by-noreen-crone-findlay/

If you don’t knit, but would like to make crocheted comfort bears, here’s the link to the pattern for crocheted comfort bears:

https://tottietalkscrafts.com/2015/12/18/crocheted-comfort-bears-by-noreen-crone-findlay/

I have been thrilled to hear from people how then intend to use the Blessing Bears.

One woman brought tears to my eyes by telling me that she’s making them to give to her children so they can give them to children at their school who have been bullied.

I’d love to hear who you are making Blessing Bears for….

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Crocheted Comfort bears by Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts. com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts. com

I designed these wee crocheted comfort bears many years ago.

I’ve had requests for a pattern for crocheted comfort bears, and so here is my pattern for crocheters to create wee bears to give to charities and individuals who are in need.

May they bring joy to those who make them and to those who receive them.

❤ Noreen

CROCHETED COMFORT BEAR
Designed by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) 2001
The size of your hook and weight of your yarn will determine the gauge of the crocheting, and the finished size of your bear. When made with worsted-weight yarn, the Comfort Bear is approximately 3 inches tall. When made with Embroidery Floss, it is approximately l inch tall. In order
to make this bear, you will need to know how to make a chain, slip stitch, single crochet and double
crochet.
MATERIALS:
Larger bears in photo were made with approximately half an ounce of worsted-weight yarn. Smaller bears were made with 1 skein of embroidery floss or lace weight yarn, using one strand. I experimented with copper wire. Oh ugh! I don’t recommend it!
Black embroidery floss for embroidering the features.
Crochet Hook in a size appropriate to your size of yarn
(For larger bear: “H”
For smaller bear: Steel Size 9 (l.15 mm))
Darning needle for sewing seams
Embroidery needle for embroidering features
ABBREVIATIONS:
Ch= chain
Sc= single crochet
Dc= double crochet
Sl St= Slip stitch
Turn= turn the work over and start the next row in the last st of the last row
Y0= yarn over the hook
* to *= you will repeat the instructions that appear between the two”*” signs however many times stated in the pattern.
BEGIN WITH THE FIRST LEG:
Ch 5, leaving about 4 inches of yarn at beginning of ch. This tail will be used to sew the legs up later.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end. (4 sc). Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2 & 3: 4 sc, ch l, turn. Cut yarn, and draw end through last ch l.
Repeat Rows 1 – 3 for the second leg, but do not cut the yarn. Ch l and turn.
BODY:
Row 4: Work l sc in each of the 4 sc of second leg, then work l sc in each of the 4 sc of the first leg. (8
sc). Ch l and turn.
Row 5 & 6: 8 sc, ch l, turn.
HEAD:
Row 7: Sc in lst sc, (ch 2, sc in next sc)7 times. (7 ch 2 spaces formed) ch l, turn.
Row 8: 2 sc in each ch 2 sp (14 sc) ch l, turn.
Row 9: (l sc in first sc, sk next sc)7 times. (7 sc) ch l turn
Row 10: sc in lst 2 sc,(insert hook into next loop, yo, pull through st)3 times, yo, pull yarn through all 4
loops on hook, sc in last 2 sc. (5 sc) ch l turn.
Row ll: 5 sc, ch l. Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 10 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.
ARMS: Make 2:
Row 1: Ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each remaining ch. (3 sc) ch l, turn.
Row 2 and 3: 3 sc, ch l, turn. Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 4 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.
FINISHING:
Head: Gather upper edge of head and pull up tightly. Stitch.
-Sew center back seam of head.
-Stuff head.
Neck: Wrap yarn end around neck of bear 3 or 4 times, and pull up tightly.
– Stitch over the neck wraps 2 or 3 times to lock in place.
Legs: Fold the leg edges together. With the starting yarn end, sew the leg seam up to the center back.
Body: Stuff body and sew shut.
Arms: Sew arm seam, and sew arm to bear. Repeat for other arm.
 Ears: Push crochet hook into a stitch in the top of the head, yo, pull up a loop onto hook.  Ch 4.
-Cut yarn, pull end through last loop on hook.
-Tie a knot with first yarn end, then thread yarn end into darning needle, and hide yarn ends inside
head.
-Repeat for other ear.
Features: -Embroider features by stitching with straight stitches approximately 6 or 7 times for eyes and nose.
– Embroider mouth by making a single straight stitch at each side of the nose.

If you would like some help embroidering the features, please check out:

or: https://tottietalkscrafts.com/2015/12/11/knitted-comfort-bear-by-noreen-crone-findlay/

-Thread yarn ends into a darning needle, and take them inside bear’s body. Trim excess ends.

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Filed under crochet, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, teddy bear

Kindness and solace from tiny knitted bears

Because I offered to make the tiny knitted comfort bears LINK TO PATTERN for the Women’s Shelter, and they responded enthusiastically by asking for 40 of them by Dec 21 (eegads), I have been taking them with me everywhere I go, making making making little comfort bears.

I’ve been so grateful that friends have offered to help me with them.

It’s such a joy to sit together making these wee ambassadors of love and connection:

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Bears at Blue Chair 2 (c)

I have been hearing really touching stories from people- the tiny bears have the amazing capacity to open hearts, so people feel safe to tell their stories…. some of which are really painful to hear, but must be heard even so.

Emily Dickinson’s poem:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,    
I shall not live in vain;    
If I can ease one life the aching,    
Or cool one pain,    
Or help one fainting robin             
Unto his nest again,    
I shall not live in vain.

has taken on even deeper meaning to me as I make these tiny ‘Kindness’ bears.

I have to admit that some of the stories that I have heard have brought tears to my eyes, and sometimes cause rage to well up at the horrors some people have endured.

If these little bears can bring solace, well, then, I , and all those who join me in making them, shall not have lived in vain.

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December 18, 2015 · 12:58 pm

Knitted Comfort Bear by Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Today, we need kindness more than ever before.

It brings me such joy to see people everywhere finding ways to create comfort and to show their love of humanity.

Recently, I went to a benefit concert for Syrian refugees, and one of the organizers said:  If you want to help, don’t ask us what you can do, tell us what your strengths are, and then do that.

I thought about what she said and then asked one of the other organizers if knitting teddy bears for the Syrian children was culturally acceptable, and she said that it is indeed.

And, so, I have designed a tiny knitted teddy bear that fits in a pocket to be a perfectly portable comfort, cuddle or hug.

I decided that I also need to help out with children who are already here, and are in distress.

So I offered to knit some for the  children in the Women’s Shelter as well as for the Syrian Refugee children.(The lady at the Women’s Shelter was delighted with my offer and has heartily taken me up on it 🙂 )

Also, I am going to knit a few  to keep in my bag for those times when I meet someone who just needs a little extra TLC.

I invite you to knit them for whatever charity makes your heart sing.

Feel free to share the link to this page… it would be wonderful to have knitters all over the world knitting these wee ambassadors of love and comfort!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Note: the finished size of this Tiny Comfort Bear is determined by the size of knitting needles that you choose and the thickness of the yarn.

YOU WILL NEED:

EQUIPMENT: Knitting needles (the Cuddle Bear in the photos was knitted with 2.75 mm needles); scissors; darning or tapestry needle; embroidery needle; ruler or tape measure.

Note: You can also knit these Comfort bears on a knitting machine if you have one.  Because I have been requested to knit so many, I have made a whole bunch of them on my knitting machine.

YARN: 1 ball of sock yarn will make 10 or more Comfort Bears.

ALSO: A small amount of stuffing; black sock yarn or embroidery floss to embroider the features.

FINISHED SIZE:

With sock yarn and 2.75mm needles, the Comfort Bear is 3 inches/ 7.5 cm tall.

With sock yarn and 2.25mm needles, the Comfort Bear is 2 1/2 inches/ 6.25 cm tall

NOTE: For a very small bear: Use smaller needles and thinner yarn, such as lace weight.

For a larger bear, use thicker needles and heavier yarn.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

INSTRUCTIONS:

BODY:
Leave at least 6 inches/ 15 cm of yarn for finishing
and cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1: K 12

Row 2: K 1, P 1 in each stitch. (24 stitches)

Set up your knitting:  You can either work the Comfort Bear flat on 2 needles, then sew the center back seam after finishing, OR, work it in the round, using 4 dpns, OR in the round on a magic loop on 1 long circular needle OR in the round on 2 shorter circular needles.

Rows or Rounds 3 – 15: Work in st st.

NECK:

(Eyelet Row/Round): Row or Round 16: [K2tog, yo] 12 times.

HEAD:

Rows or Rounds 17 – 30: Work 24 stitches in st st.

Row or Round 31: [K2tog] 12 times. (12 st)

Cut yarn, leaving 8 inches/20 cm for finishing.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

FINISHING:

(Note: If you knitted your Comfort Bear flat on 2 needles, sew up the back seam now before completing the steps.)

1] Thread the yarn end at then end of the last round into a darning or tapestry needle and take it through all the stitches.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

2] Pull up the stitches to close the top of the head, then take the needle through all the stitches again to secure them.

3] Stuff the entire body.

4] EARS:

Pinch a semi-circle out at the side of the head and stitch through the base to form the ear. Stitch along the base of the ear, back and forth to define it well.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Stitch in place at the top of the head, then take the yarn inside the head and come out at the other side. Stitch in place to secure the yarn and then stitch the other ear in the same way.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the yarn end inside the body.

5] LEGS:

Thread the yarn end at the lower edge of the body into the needle and then pull up to gather the lower edge closed. Stitch in place to secure the gather.

Take the needle through the body about 1/4 inch/.5 cm up from the base.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Go through the body again, slightly up from the last stitch.

Now, stitch back down towards the feet.

Stitch through the body several more times, to create the line between the legs.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Stitch in place at the base, then take the yarn end back into the body.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

6] NECK: Cut a piece of yarn about 30 inches/75 cm long and fold it in half.

Thread the ends into the darning needle then go in and out the eyelet round at the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Wrap the yarn around the neck several times and then tie a tight knot to secure the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the ends inside the body.

ARMS:

1] Leaving several inches of yarn at each end for attaching the i cord, knit a 3 stitch i cord that is 1 3/4 inches/4.5 cm long.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

2] Sew the arms to the body.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

FACE:

With black sock yarn or embroidery floss, embroider the face:

Bring the needle up through the head from the back of the neck to the center of the face.

Take a couple of tiny stitches to secure the yarn.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

 

Stitch a ‘V’ for the nose, then take the needle out at the first eye.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take a couple of tiny stitches for the first eye.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Then across to the second eye. Take a couple of tiny stitches for the second eye.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the needle from the top of the nose, down to the point of the V, then out to one side for the first half of the smile:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Pull the needle through the face at the point of the V and out to the end point of the smile.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The needle goes back in almost where it came out to catch the middle of the smile line, then comes out at the point of the V.

Repeat for the second half of the smile.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take a couple of tiny stitches in the nose to secure the end.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

 

Then, go through the body to bury the yarn end.

Snip the yarn end at the back of the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And there you have it!

A tiny comfort bear to bring joy into your life in the knitting of it, and joy into the life of whoever you give it to.

🙂

Happy Knitting!

❤ Noreen

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Filed under charity knitting, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear